Walk 38
7½ mile circular Walk - Upton Snodsbury, North Piddle and Flyford Flavell

Upton Snodsbury Map

Points of Interest.GPS File.

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The walk is a little over 7½ miles, mostly flat, across open countryside, through farmland but with several stiles. During the early part of the walk, between Upton Snodsbury and Flyford Flavell you will enjoy a delightful section of the Millennium Way your route being clearly marked by the distinctive green waymarkers. Nestling between low hills and farmland, the pretty parish of Upton Snodsbury lies 7 miles east of Worcester along the A422. The church is dedicated to St. Kenelm and includes some fine stained glass windows, including several from the 1960s and 1970s by Francis Keat. Find out more about the walk by clicking on the information icon.

A We start our walk from the Car Park of The Oak Pub, Take the stile in the far corner of the car park then go left up the field to take metal kissing gate, then go diagonally left across next field heading towards the church. Take the kissing gate ahead where you will see the first green Millennium Way waymarker. Continue past houses left, through wooden gate and pass school on your right, down to main road (Upton Snodsbury Church is on the left). Cross road and take the ally way between houses to field and go with hedge left for 200 yds then cross field and ditch to take mid hedge kissing gate ahead. Go diagonally half right across field, heading towards lone tree, and when you reach hedge, bear left keeping hedge right through two fields to corner stile and road

B Cross road to take fence stile in hedge going through scrub to join track and keeping to left of farm buildings. Continue with hidden river left on cinder track to take bridge. Go through double metal gate then diagonally half right to mid hedge gap by single tree. Go through another double metal gated gap and bear slightly left keeping hedge right. Follow hedge as it turns right at corner to take gap ahead between tall hedges. Enter left field and go left just a few paces then turn right across centre of field ( wherever farmer has cleared the footpath ) to pass about 20 yards to the the left of the mid field double power poles headings towards a waymarked metal gated gap in hedge ahead. Take gated gap and go ahead through plantation to gate onto road. Cross road, go over metal stile and continue along grassy tree lined path to the end, to meet hedge. Turn right and after 20 paces go left to cross wooden footbridge and through kissing gate. Continue ahead through copse between two barbed wire fences and exit by metal kissing gate to cross field ahead to take mid hedge kissing gate to road.

C Go left on road to go over crossroads at North Piddle and continue up road passing Moat House on your right. After some 250 paces take signed footpath in gated fence gap right. Go up slope with hedge right to take double fence stile then ahead with hedge right to exit field by corner stile. Go ahead with hedge right to take kissing gate, then go immediately right to take further kissing gate. Go left with hedge left to take far corner gate then ahead across next field keeping hedge left to take metal kissing gate (ignore stile right). Go diagonally half left up next field towards lone dwelling and exit field by corner stile ( ignore gate left ) then go left around paddock towards the church over a wooden stile and  passing between two dew ponds. Take wooden gate and go left around perimeter of the tennis court to take driveway into Flyford Flavell.

D Go right on road to pass cafe / store, then just past the Boot Inn take the signed footpath left. (Here we leave the Millennium Way and join the Wychavon Way). Go over the stile then half left under power lines and take wooden gate at top of field. Continue diagonally across grassed area to take corner metal gate to field. Go ahead with hedge left to take gated gap then downhill following power lines to take metal gate to main road (just behind car dealership). Cross busy main road and take metal gate opposite, then quarter left to take gated footbridge ahead. After the footbridge go immediately left, then through metal gate then take footpath right (Wychavon Way) Go gently uphill with hedge right and find a rather dificult fence stile with no footplate. Take stile to go left up drive to go over cattle grid to turn right in front of house then over grassed area to take stile on right to then go left with hedge left towards Grafton Wood ahead. Continue along edge of wood as it swings gently right, for approx 300 yards eventually to take metal kissing gate left into wood. (Here we leave the Wychavon Way to enter the wood which is a butterfly conservation area affiliated to the Worcestershire Wildlife Trust).

LocalsE Maintain your line ahead through wood to exit by large kissing gate at the end of the track. Go half right diagonally across field to reach a gap.Take gap following waymark, and ahead, after a few paces on rough track go through a metal gate / gap over ditch on your left and then go right along field edge with hedge right. Exit field at wide corner gap and continue ahead with trees and ditch right. Soon we can see Grafton Flyford church ahead, just to the left. Continue along edge of field towards farm buildings to exit via double gated bridge in corner, to the right of large metal gate. Head up field towards farm buildings, take gate / gap and go through farmyard with buildings left, through large wooden gate and down drive towards the church. After passing the church ignore footpath left and continue right down track passing the Old Rectory to reach the road.

F Turn left at road then immediately right through kissing gate to field keeping ahead with hedge right. Take corner gap then go directly ahead across centre of two fields to reach footbridge. Go over footbridge then go left with hedge left until you come to gap. Go right here, staying in the same field and head up field towards double power lines keeping hedge left. Go under power lines towards barns. Turn right on reaching farm track to reach public footpath sign ahead. Go left here passing barn right, go through large metal gate and continue ahead with hedge left, ignoring stile left. Stay ahead to eventually find stile adjacent to lone oak tree. Cross this stile and go ahead towards distant wood, keeping hedge right , crossing double stile in top corner of field then going half right in next field towards corner of wood. As you reach the corner take the gate directly ahead, ignoring the stile to your right.

Relax and enjoyG Go ahead through next large gate into field and go with wood left. At the next waymarker go through gap by metal gate and take bridleway half left, keeping edge of wood on your left and buildings directly ahead. Proceed around edge of field towards buildings and exit to drive through metal gate. Continue  down driveway past Froxmere Court, and on reaching the right hand bend, about 100 yds before stream, go sharp left through large metal gate (easy to miss so keep a look out) and then go up field, along bridleway, heading towards edge of wood. Go through two metal gates into next field then stay directly ahead, across very large field, keeping stream some 100 yds to far right, and narrow woodland area some 50 yds to your left. Head towards farm buildings, which will eventually appear in far distance, then towards corner just to the left of buildings (not the most picturesque of farms) and exit by two metal gates, then stay ahead down the farm track to the main road. Turn left to arrive back at The Oak.

Points of Interest - What to know and what to see.... by John Rae

St Kenelm SnodsburyUpton Snodsbury was founded by the Saxons in 7C and is mentioned in the Domesday Book as Snodesbyrie. The church dedicated to St Kenelm dates from 13C has interesting windows dating from 1960-70 by Francis Skeat. Much of the land surrounding the village was owned by Westminster Abbey and caused much legal wrangling with the Abbot of Pershore. In the past the fruit orchards were a most important local industry and celebrated with an Apple Day celebration today there is a bi-ennial Snodfest of local musicians and groups. The Civil War ravaged much of the local area and following the two battles for Worcester (1646 and 1651) as both cavaliers and roundheads scavenged destroying many properties.

Moorend Barn is situated above Piddle Brook which flows into the River Severn.

Domesday Book mentions two estates in North Piddle, both of which were held for the abbey of Westminster by Urse d’Abetot. St Michael's, the parish church of North Piddle, was originally built in 1289 but almost nothing survives of the old building; the church was rebuilt in 1876.

In the census of 1821 there were 133 inhabitants compared with 80 in 2011.

Through the ages North Piddle manor was connected to many colourful figures, including the Dukes of Norfolk. Thomas de Mowbray, 1st Duke of Norfolk, was banished from England and died of the bubonic plague Venice in 1399. His son Thomas de Mowbray was executed in 1405, and the manor was taken into family ownership and St Peters Flyford Flavellgranted to Edward Beauchamp. A few years later the manor was once again owned by the Dukes of Norfolk, but the direct line was broken when Anne de Mowbray, 8th Countess of Norfolk, who was married when she was 5 years old to Richard of Shrewsbury, died three years after her marriage. Her husband was murdered in the Tower of London soon after.

Flyford Flavel is not separately entered in the Domesday Survey, being then included in the estate of 5 hides held at North Piddle under the abbey of Westminster by Urse and having evidently been given with Pershore by Edward the Confessor to the abbey of Westminster. The land was given by King Edgar in 972 to the abbey of Pershore. The overlordship of the abbey was recognized until the 16th century. Urse's interest passed with his other estates to the Beauchamps, their overlordship being last mentioned in 1420–1.

The parish church of Flyford is dedicated to St Peter. With the exception of the 15th-century tower it was rebuilt in 1883. There are two bells one dating from 1480c and the other 1715. The pub The Boot Inn has bits that date back to 13C.

Butterfly Conservation AreaGrafton Wood is owned and managed by The Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts is an ancient woodland great for bluebells and butterflies.

Bow Wood is a remnant of the great Feckenham Forest and covers much of Castle Hill, an Iron Age fort. The whole area is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)

Court Farm has evidence of a mill stream and was valued in Domesday at £7 10 shillings.